Robert Walser Jour 07
Today marks one week since our arrival at Robert Walser Sculpture, and already so much has transpired in regards to situating our practice inside the Ambassade de Dandelion. At this point we have experienced a multitude of rhythms - the incessant buzz of the first few days together as five, which gave birth to the foundation of of the ambassade - the map on the floor, the modifications the chariot. Followed by the transition to three, in which Charles, Delphine and I did our second walk, and began to forge the link between the objective map on the ground and the evolutive map on the walls.
Today we shift to two dandelions for the first time. It is a delicate equilibrium, one perhaps furthered by the state of fragility I find myself in. The passing of Rachida continues to permeate my thoughts, and I often am overwhelmed by the tides of emotion which oscillate throughout the day. Delphine has her own encounters to endure, as Ishtvan arrives today. I try to lend as much support, and simultaneously distance as I can. It feels a bit like a rope suspended between two bodies, one whose tautness is contingent upon the anchoring of both sides. We both have to hold on to endure the rope stays afloat
And so, we arrive together to the sculpture, two sailors out at sea. We precede to let the ripples of our own waters lay at bay, and join together to commence a productive morning at the ambassade. We have a fruitful debriefing, and sort through all of the photos accumulated over the course of the past few days. We delineate the chantiers which will occupy our next few days together at the two dandelion in embassy.
Today, we are not the yellow resilient dandelions of spring, which stand strong with the yellow feathered heads. We are two mid summer blooms which lay susceptible to winds. We sway with the movement which encompasses our fields, and do our best to prevail in spite of our vulnerability. Yet there is profound strength in the vulnerability, and I am grateful for the space it allocates.
Together we discuss the need to create signs that make our walks more evident to the public. I occupy myself with this for most of the afternoon, and while working alone painting signs in the embassy, I am approached by Ann, our old neighbor whom moved to another space in pursuit of more silence. I am pleasantly surprised by her proposition to paint signs together, but very welcoming of the company and the possibility of a new friend in the sculpture. I have enjoyed the process of befriending people here, Dany, Bridel, and of course Malick. Ann proceeds to sit in the embassy, and first painting our own signs, and then I begin to help her with her project, constructing a grave for women’s lost time, to be installed next to the Carl Seeling shrine. We fabricate signs which say “no” in a multitude of languages, and I find myself making my way to the kitchen to ask the women there to jot down the word “no” in Cameroonian, Ethiopian, and Wolof. I return to the embassy to transcribe them on to the wooden planks along with the help of Agathe.
At 16h her performance commences. It starts to rain, and I begin to help her hammer the signs into the exterior of the sculpture, Kathleen and Thomas watching amongst the mix of people eating their hamburgers outside the McDonalds from the station. We speak about the ways in which our time is wasted, and I bask in knowing that there has been no squandered time this week. The days are long and dense, with many chantiers always at play. Delphine returns, we debrief, and the afternoon melts into evening.